L. Kuehnast (1919 - 1990)
Both meteorology and climatology occupied Earl as a vocation and an avocation for almost his entire life, first as a boy on a north-central Iowa farm, then as a pilot/meteorologist (1942-1965) and climatologist (1968-1986). After retirement from the Air Force, he was able to bring a wealth of experience and training, both practical and theoretical, to the position of State Climatologist for Minnesota, a position established in 1968 by the Department of Natural Resources. It was as if Earl's whole life had been directed to this final position, for as state climatologist he could draw upon his knowledge and experience as a farmer, a pilot, a meteorologist, a climatologist, and finally as a keen observer of the natural environment. In this newly created position he soon established the Minnesota State Climatology Office as a valuable adjunct to state activities such as tourism, drought and severe storm climatology, fire weather, crop drying assessment, mosquito phenology, projections of lake ice-out in spring, and high density precipitation networks. By the time of his retirement in 1986, the office had become an essential part of the state's affairs, and one of the best in the United States. Among his legacies is the extensive climatological network of volunteer weather observers located throughout the state.